Want to Publish Your Book? Cut Out the Middle Man!

The recent news is full of a certain large Christian publishing house starting a “self-publishing” (vanity press) imprint. The publishing house claims they want to help authors who can’t find a traditional publisher (which they are). Critics are saying that the publishing house just wants another way to make money.

The publishing industry is suffering. Books, once considered recession-proof, are no longer selling well in the current economy. Book reading is declining in our country. The number of books published each year continues to increase, making the competition for book sales stiff.books

One recent survey found that 81 percent of people feel that they have a book in them and that they should write it. With the advent of print-on-demand and digital printing technology, the cost to publish a book has come within reach for the average American.

The number of authors choosing to finance the publishing of their own books increases each year. With so many authors self-publishing, the traditional royalty publishing industry, looking for a way to boost their revenues, is turning to opening “self-publishing” imprints.

Among Christian publishers, Bethany Press led the way with Believers Press at the beginning of 2009. B&H, in partnership with Lifeway, joined the trend this summer and announced the opening of CrossBooks at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS). Now Thomas Nelson, not wanting to be left behind, has joined with Author Solutions to open WestBow, their vanity imprint.

So, as an author who wants to publisher your own book, how do you choose? Which one is the best option?

Let me tell you: Cut out the middle man.

Start your own publishing company. Publish the book yourself.

Every one of these “self-publishing” imprints of a large traditional royalty publishing house is offering the service because they want to make money. That means that you pay them not just to publish your book, but for their profit as well.

Why pay a “self-publishing” imprint to publish your book when you can publish it yourself? Here are some great reasons to publish your book yourself:

  1. It’s cheaper.
  2. You retain more control over the look and feel of the final product.
  3. You start earning money quicker from book sales.
  4. Either way you and you alone are responsible for marketing your book.

If you want to consider publishing your own book, but don’t know where to begin, then purchase my audio presentation (with outline) on how to publish your own book. The cost is just $6.00 and the presentation provides you with the basic information you need to publish a book yourself. Click here to order the presentation.

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3 thoughts on “Want to Publish Your Book? Cut Out the Middle Man!

  1. Hmmmm, what you say is true, BUT folks that don’t like to work need to think hard before embarking on SP. A lot of those 81% “would be” writers you quote see themselves sitting behind a keyboard, working at their pace and running their fingers through pots of gold. SP, particularly fiction, is a garden filled with boulders and pernicious weeds. Distribution channels, et al are challenging to say the least. Good advice, but a word, not to discourage, that illuminates the real world, is in order. http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com


  2. I agree Sandy, neither route, using a vanity publisher or publishing a book yourself, is easy work. Both require the same amount of marketing from the author. However, with vanity publishing you pay more money, while in publishing a book yourself, you spend more time (work). There is no free lunch.


  3. I recently received the following note from Nick Ciske of Believers Press. He wanted me to correct this post, stating that Believers Press is a book printer, not a publisher. You can consult their website to learn more about the company and the publishing services they do provide.

    Nick wrote:

    While we at BelieversPress admit that we’re in business to make money — I assume you’re in business to make money as well? However, we’re a non-profit (owned by a ministry) so our profits go to support Bethany International — which trains and sends missionaries to evangelize the world. We think it’s a pretty great way to sow back into the Kingdom — and a feature you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

    We agree that the subsidy operations (especially those of major publishers) appear to be profit centric rather than author centric — selling dreams instead of reality. However, we’re definitely not “one of them.” See our publishing guide and “Hidden Hazards” documents for the dose of reality we try to give every author we come in contact with.

    I hope you can appreciate our distress as being portrayed as the very thing we’re not! We go out of our way to tell authors the truth about subsidy publishing and steer them towards “true” self-publishing, as you advocate on your blog.


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